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To celebrate the turn of the millennium, the University of Chicago is offering some new thoughts in a new forum: the “Reflections 2000” Web site. Each week during the spring and fall 1999 quarters, the site will feature a different essay by a distinguished faculty member. Authors will be drawn from all the divisions and professional schools.

The site made its Internet debut during the last week of March with a piece by Provost Geoffrey Stone, JD’71, the Harry Kalven Jr. distinguished service professor in the Law School, who wrote a speculative Supreme Court decision dated June 21, 2101. In John Powers and Mary Smith v. Director, United States Agency for Mandatory Miscegenation, a white couple fought for the right to have a child together, arguing that the Mandatory Miscegenation Act of 2100 violated the United States Constitution.

As imagined by Stone, the Court wrote: “Congress has determined to put an end to this endless cycle of racism in the most direct and most effective way possible: by creating a nation of one race—not a race of whites, or blacks, or Asians, but a single, mixed race of ‘Americans.’…If ever there was a compelling governmental and societal interest, it is in the elimination of racism in our nation, once and for all.…Although we feel for the petitioners, who unquestionably love one another and wish nothing more than to bear a child together, the interest of the nation is paramount. It is through such sacrifices, not small, but essential, that we will finally attain a society in which all people are in fact as well as in declaration ‘created equal.’…We find that the Mandatory Miscegenation Act of 2100 is consistent with the United States Constitution and therefore affirm the decision below.”

Visitors can post their opinions on the material, read others’ comments, and participate in informal polls regarding questions posed in the essays. At final tally, 42 percent of respondents agreed with the hypothetical Supreme Court decision.

In the coming months, expect to hear from philosopher Martha Nussbaum on global justice and psychologist John Cacioppo on emotions and rationality. Other faculty whose millennial musings will appear include Leora Auslander, Anthony Bryk, Martin Kreitman, Shadi Bartsch, Jean and John Comaroff, Keith Moffat, Martin Marty, PhD’56, Saskia Sassen, Wu Hung, and Wendy Doniger.
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